5 Books I Couldn't Put Down This Summer
I've been devouring books this summer within a wide variety of genres: historical fiction, a thriller, a fun book-turned movie, a thought-provoking novel, and a light, beach read. Give me your suggestions on what I should read next in the comments!
Crazy Rich Asians (and the sequels!) by Kevin Kwan
"When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers."
My favorite book and movie of the summer! CRA has taken the world by storm not only for the extravagant, fun, and romantic comedy story but also for it's cultural significance of being the first American film in 25 years to feature an all Asian cast. It was superb and such a delight! Can't wait for the second book to be made into a movie as a sequel!
The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close
"A New York newlywed, Beth was supportive when her husband, Matt, decided to follow his political dreams all the way to Washington. Yet soon after they move to D.C., Beth realizes that she hates everything about it: the traffic circles, the ubiquitous Ann Taylor suits, the humidity that descends each summer, and, most of all, the lonely dinner parties where anyone who doesn’t work in politics is politely ignored. Things start to change when the couple meets a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy and his wife, Ashleigh. The four become inseparable, coordinating brunches, birthdays, and long weekends away. But as Jimmy’s star rises higher and higher, the couples’ friendship—and Beth’s relationship with Matt—is threatened by jealousy, competition, and rumors."
This was a light and easy beach read that showcased interesting characters and relationships set in the middle of D.C. politics and focused how just being around politics can affect your relationships. Good read if you're interested in the behind the scenes of an administration (this one is set in the Obama era) and then a lower level campaign.
Love and Ruin by Paula McLain
"In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It’s her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. There she also finds herself unexpectedly—and unwillingly—falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend. On the eve of War World War II, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest’s relationship and their professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must forge a path as her own woman and writer."
One of my favorite books of all time is McLain's other book "The Paris Wife" about Hemingway's first wife Hadley so I had high hopes for this follow up. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it for anyone who loves historical fiction. Ernest Hemingway's real life makes for better stories than the ones he wrote, if you ask me.
A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
"It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time. But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over. Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems."
Austin and I listened to this book on audiobook on our cross country road trip which was a great way to enjoy this psychological thriller. The movie version of this book is coming out soon and I'm interested to see how close they stick to the book because the plot is very twisted! If you liked Girl on the Train or Gone Girl, you will probably enjoy this book as well!
American Marriage by Tayari Jones
"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together."
The plot of this book makes you to some introspection where you'll constantly be asking yourself, "what would you do in this scenario?" It's a complicated story that will make you think about typical and atypical marriages and the challenges that are universal. I think this will be a book treasured for decades to come. This book is one of Oprah's and Obama's favorite books of the summer.